Concept: Family


Today, 85 percent of the Solomon Islands population live in rural areas and continue to practice subsistence agriculture, along with a mix of cash crops. The most fundamental social group is the extended family. Originally, the family was responsible for subsistence, wealth, social stability and relations with ancestors and the environment. In its modern form, the Solomons family concept has extended to business dealings and intersects with local, provincial and national political alliances. The extended family or clan (or laen in Solomons Pijin English) is from the same language group. Wantok, literally 'one talk', means from the same language but not necessarily from the same family or clan. Culture and tradition are described with one word, kastom, a Pijin derivative of 'custom'. Family, laen and wantok loyalties extend into urban areas to various degrees and often become overwhelming there when obligations to feed and house people outstrip cash resources.